Steelers mock draft: OL, defense addressed instead of QB
By Andrew Falce
Some picks in a draft just feel right early on. For example, the Steelers and Najee Harris were linked incredibly early in the draft process, and it was no surprise when the team took Harris in the first round. Arguably even more obvious is the link the team has with USC safety Isaiah Pola-Mao, who is the nephew of now Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu.
While not quite the pro prospect that his uncle was, Pola-Mao should still be intriguing to the team. With Terrell Edmunds set to become a free agent next offseason, the team will need a new strong safety. Pola-Mao has incredible size and would be a natural fit there. As well, he should test as an extremely athletic safety. Add that in with his size and bloodlines and the Steelers would have a tough time looking the other way.
Pola-Mao wouldn’t be ready to start right away as a rookie, but a veteran such as Karl Joseph could man that role while the rookie developed as a third safety playing close to the line of scrimmage. His weakest trait is his tackling, but that can be improved upon. Add in his weight concerns (he is listed at 205 pounds despite being listed at 6’4) and you have a prospect that will likely be a day three pick.
Injuries have also been a concern, as is the fact that as of now his sophomore season is his best statistical season on books. There is some level of projection with Pola-Mao, but the prospect is too good of a fit to pass on in the second round. The Steelers will have to develop him, but this is a pick that could pay dividends for this secondary down the road.